Fitbit Charge 5: What You Need to Know About the ECG

The Fitbit Charge 5 has some new features that you’re going to want to know about! One of the most exciting additions is the ECG. ECG stands for electrocardiogram, and it’s a test that measures and records the electrical activity of your heart. ECG tests help detect potential heart problems. So if you’re concerned about your health, the Charge 5 is a great option. Keep reading for more information on this amazing feature!

How it All Started For Fitbit

In September 2020, Fitbit announced their most advanced heart health technology yet. This technology can assess your heart rhythm for atrial fibrillation (AFib), a heart rhythm irregularity, right from your wrist using the compatible ECG app on the Fitbit Sense.

Since then, Fitbit are now proud to say that they have completed over 5 million heart rhythm assessments using Sense. And now, we’re bringing the same technology to a sleek and streamlined tracker design on the Fitbit Charge 5.

Quite an achievement made by Fitbit , who continue to strive in making our health and fitness products more accurate, insightful and easy-to-use. The ECG on the Charge is just one example of this.

Fitbit Charge 5 is the First Tracker with ECG Technology

After the success of the Fitbit Sense since it’s release in September 2020. With over 5 million completed tests. It was an amazing accomplishment by Fitbit to have this advanced heart tracking technology in a sleek and small design.

The Fitbit Charge 5 is now the first tracker on the market to have ECG capabilities. Which means that it can measure your heart rhythm for atrial fibrillation right from your wrist. Making it easier and more accessible for people to get their health checked.

This is a great addition to the Fitbit Charge 5, as there are many people who are unaware that they have a heart problem. The ECG on the Charge can detect these problems and help people get the treatment they need. A massive leap forward from it’s previous models, and a great way to start off your fitness or health goals the right way.

What is the ECG and What Does it Do?

An ECG, or electrocardiogram, is a test that measures and records the electrical activity of your heart. It can help detect potential heart problems like atrial fibrillation (AFib).

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The ECG on the Fitbit Charge 5 is just one way that Fitbit are working to improve heart health tracking. They are also working on technology that can assess your heart rhythm for AFib right from your wrist using the compatible ECG app.

This technology is already being used by over five million people, and it’s only going to get better. So if you’re looking for a tracker with ECG capabilities, the Charge is a great option.

Why is the ECG Tacking Important For you

Normally, your heart beats in a regular rhythm. When you have AFib, your heart beats in an irregular rhythm which can lead to a stroke. Fitbit’s compatible ECG app on the Charge 5 can help users identify AFib and get a better understanding of their heart.

This Fitbit feature gives users information about their heart rhythm. This is important because people with AFib may not always know when their heart is beating irregularly. Some studies suggest that as many as 25 percent of people who have an AFib-related stroke find out they have AFib only after a stroke has occurred.

The ECG app can’t diagnose AFib, but the results from the app can help individuals have a better conversation with their doctor.

If you’re someone who is concerned about your heart health, the Charge 5 is a great option. With the ECG app, you can track your heart rhythm and see if there are any irregularities. This information can help you get treatment for potential heart problems.

How Does The Fitbit Charge 5 ECG App Work?

The electrical sensors on your Fitbit wrist-worn product can detect the rhythm of your heart. This data is analyzed for signs of AFib, an irregular heart rhythm.

The electrical sensors are on the back of the Fitbit wrist-worn product and on the metal frame around the face. When these sensors are in contact with your skin and the Fitbit ECG app is open, they record your heart’s electrical signals.

Normally, the heart’s upper and lower chambers work together. When the heart is in AFib, the upper chambers contract irregularly, which can increase your risk of a heart attack, blood clots, stroke, or other heart conditions.

AFib is a heart problem that can make the heart beat irregularly. It can be hard to detect. But you can use this assessment to find out if you have it. This will help you talk to your doctor better.

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What kind of results You Would Typically See

There a 3 types of results your will typically see. I have reconstructed the definitions I hope you can understand in plain English.

  • Inconclusive : If your heart rate is over 120 beats per minute or under 50 beats per minute, the Fitbit ECG app can’t assess your heart rhythm. You might also get an inconclusive result for other reasons, like moving too much while taking the assessment or incorrect finger placement.
  • Normal Sinus Rhythm : Your heart rhythm appears normal. It doesn’t show signs of AFib, an irregular heart rhythm.
  • Atrial Fibrillation : You have an irregular heart rhythm called AFib. This condition can have serious health effects. You should contact your doctor right away.

Any Potential Draw Backs When Using the ECG Feature

The ECG feature on the Charge is a great addition to the fitness tracker, but it does have a few potential drawbacks.

  • First : The ECG app is only for people over age 22. So if you’re not yet an adult, you won’t be able to use this feature.
  • Second : the ECG app isn’t always accurate. It’s important to remember that the app is only a tool, and it should not be used as the only source of information about your heart health. Always speak with your doctor if you have concerns about your heart health.
  • Finally : the ECG app can’t diagnose AFib. So if you get an inconclusive result or a normal sinus rhythm, you still need to speak with your doctor. They will be able to give you more information about your heart health and what steps you should take next.

The Fitbit Charge is a great tracker for anyone interested in improving their heart health. With the ECG app, you can track your heart rhythm and see if there are any irregularities. This information can help you get treatment for potential heart problems. If you’re someone who is concerned about your heart health, the Charge is a great option.

Are the ECG results Accurate?

After doing some research about this question, I cannot say for sure it is accurate. This is Why Fitbit have put a clear disclaimer of the ECG readings that the information cannot be used for treatment.

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However I have come across an Article supplied by Fitbit saying that :

Subsequently, 440 subjects underwent a simultaneous 30-second 12-lead ECG and Fitbit ECG App test. The Fitbit ECG App software algorithm was able to correctly identify people with AFib 98.7% of the time and correctly identify people with SR 100% of the time. 

This is only a small abstract of the article but seeing this kind of made me feel skeptical. It’s hard to authenticate this test regime being legitimate.

Click Here if you would like to read the testing article.

Should The Fitbit ECG Feature Be ISO Accredited?

If you are not familiar with ISO, ISO stands for International Organization for Standardization. They are a non-governmental organization that sets standards for various industries.

One of the areas that ISO covers is electronic devices. So it’s no surprise that there is interest in getting the ECG feature on the Charge accredited by ISO.

There is a ISO standard for ECG devices, document standard reference ISO/IEE 11073-10406:2012 . This standard covers the technical requirements for ECG devices.

It’s unclear if Fitbit is working on getting the ECG feature accredited by ISO, but it’s an interesting idea. Having the ECG feature certified by ISO would give users more confidence in the accuracy of the readings.

Then again in Fitbits defense, they do mention that ECG readings is a insight to your health.

Click here to view the ISO standards for ECG devices

Conclusion

The Fitbit Charge 5 is the first ever fitness tracker in the Fitbit series to have the ECG technology. This Fitbit feature gives users information about their heart rhythm. This is important because people with AFib may not always know when their heart is beating irregularly.

Some studies suggest that as many as 25 percent of people who have an AFib-related stroke find out they have AFib only after a stroke has occurred. I’ve been wearing my Charge 5 for a few weeks now and it’s been great to see how my heart rate varies throughout the day.

I highly recommend this device if you are interested in gaining insights into your heart health. Stay healthy, everyone!